Month: May 2020

Air Conditioning Service in Midway City

Air Conditioning Service in Midway City

Technician Gives Away Extra Face Masks To Grateful Client

May 29, 2020

Service Champions HVAC leads air conditioning service in Midway City. Homeowners trust us for exceptional technical care and superior customer service.

We offer air conditioning service in Midway City for:

  • HVAC installations
  • Heater and AC repairs
  • Furnace and air conditioner maintenance
  • Home comfort solutions
  • Advanced air care systems

No matter what you want and need for your home, work with our team. As the only Diamond Certified HVAC provider of Orange County, we deliver the results you want.

Air Conditioning Service in Midway City For Installations

The average AC unit lasts about 10 to 15 years with good care. As the unit grows older, it needs repairs and maintenance. But, over time, even these services won’t be able to totally stop aging and decline. Eventually, you need AC replacement.

You also need replacement if you have:

  • Frequent repairs or breakdowns
  • Expensive cooling
  • Rising humidity

Another thing to keep in mind: if you have had renovations and the square footage of your home has increased, you will need to resize the air conditioner for efficient cooling. Because the central air system has been measured to cool your exact home, your older one will not work for your new home.

When selecting a new air conditioner, think about what you want out of your air conditioning service in Midway City. Take into consideration:

  • Budget
  • Indoor air quality
  • Cooling power
  • Energy efficiency
  • Eco-friendly HVAC
  • Alternative HVAC

Let your Service Champions expert know exactly what you want. He or she can find the right AC unit for superior air conditioning service in Midway City.

Air Conditioning Service in Midway City For Repairs
Repairs should be made as soon as possible. This is the only way to avoid permanent damages and huge costs. The sooner your technician arrives for service, the more he or she can do for your AC unit. Prompt repairs restore safe, reliable, healthy and efficient air conditioning. Repairs also help the unit last longer and work better, so you can enjoy healthy cooling every day. The key is to recognize when you need air conditioning service in Midway City.

  • Reduced airflow
  • Loud noises during operation
  • Short cycling
  • Bad odors from the vents
  • Inaccurate home temperature
  • Decline in home comfort

When you experience any of these signs, stop using the air conditioner. Call Service Champions for air conditioning service in Midway City for repairs.

Air Conditioning Service in Midway City For Maintenance

Homeowners who want the best for their home air conditioning schedule AC maintenance once a year. It is the one service that successfully prevents up to 90 percent of all repairs and damages.

With maintenance, your technicians deliver complete care early, so problems are solved before they turn into anything serious.

During maintenance, your technician:

  • Visually inspects the unit, inside and out
  • Uses precision tools to thoroughly clean
  • Removes buildup, microbiological growth and water
  • Tests for refrigerant leaks, gas leaks and water leaks
  • Cleans the condensate lines and pan
  • Tests and resets the safety switch
  • Cleans and/or replaces the air filter
  • Inspects the air ducts for obstruction or tears
  • Adjusts all wires, connections, settings and attachments
  • Spots growing problems and delivers correct treatment

With maintenance, your technician restores the health, cleanliness, safety, efficiency and performance quality of your AC unit. To reap all these benefits, be sure to schedule maintenance for your air conditioner once a year.

Choose Service Champions For Air Conditioning Service in Midway City

Work with Service Champions for superior air conditioning service in Midway City. For an appointment, complete the form linked here or speak to our friendly call center representatives.

Leland Smith

Technician Gives Away Extra Face Masks To Grateful Client

360 Jose Lazo Face Masks Inside - Technician Gives Away Extra Face Masks To Grateful Client

At his client’s request, Service Champions technician Jose showed up in a face mask to his Pasadena service call.

All Service Champions technicians show up wearing masks and gloves. We are also taking other measures to protect you and our techs.

The client shared that she felt a little trapped – she wanted to get masks but didn’t want to go out to get them without a mask.

“I need to buy some, but I don’t feel comfortable leaving the house right now,” the homeowner said. “Would you have an extra you could spare?”

In the spirit of Good Deeds For Free, Jose gave more than he was asked.

“I had extras, so I gave her three masks instead of one,” Jose said.

The client was relieved to get the masks. “Oh, thank you so much! I didn’t want to go out without one.”

Nice work Jose – that’s a generous Good Deed For Free!

The Pros and Cons of Baseboard Heat

If you live in an older home or building, you have a higher chance of having a style of heating that was more de rigueur in decades past, such as a wood stove, radiators or electric baseboard heat.

Many baseboard heating systems are a form of electric heat that operates without ductwork and can be expensive to run. Baseboard heating is often more efficient than radiators and also takes up valuable real estate along the edges of rooms in your home, often limiting arrangements of furniture and home decor.

If you have baseboard heat, should you replace it or keep it running as long as possible? Let’s take a look.

How Does Baseboard Heat Work?

So, you’re probably wondering “Is baseboard heating expensive?” or “Is baseboard heating good?” but there’s more to it than just that. How does it actually work?

Baseboard heaters are typically mounted under a window on an exterior wall, which promotes convection of heat. You usually find baseboard heaters underneath exterior windows, where cold air is likely to enter and drop into the heating system to be warmed.

pros and cons of baseboard heating under window

Electric Baseboard Heating

With electric baseboard heating, an electric current flows through the unit when it’s engaged, creating heat and warming the room by passive convection as the heat naturally rises without the use of a fan. A thermostat mounted to the wall or the unit itself controls the unit. 

It’s important to educate yourself on electric baseboard heating pros and cons before investing in them. Keep in mind that as temperatures drop outside, your energy costs rise. A good estimate is to expect about a five percent increase for every degree you set your heater above 68°F. The more you’re willing to adjust to cooler temperatures, throw on an extra layer, or cuddle in a blanket, the more you’ll save with electric baseboard heating.

Caution: If you have electric baseboard heating, keep furniture and textiles, like drapes, away from the unit to avoid fire hazards and ensure your system runs efficiently. Also, keep in mind that thick carpeting or rugs can get in the way of an electric baseboard heater, so be sure everything fits together well before splurging on upgrades.

Hydronic Baseboard Heating

A more energy-efficient and rare type of baseboard heating — called hot water or hydronic baseboard heating — that is often installed with radiant flooring uses a boiler to send hot water from unit to unit via pipes. A hydronic heater system seals the water within the system and doesn’t require any kind of recharging to operate well.

If you’re picky about style or sizing, keep in mind that there are fewer options when it comes to hydronic heaters. The most common lengths range between 35 inches and 94 inches, and the length options in between are limited.

While they excel in terms of energy efficiency, hydronic baseboard heating has a disadvantage when it comes to heat-up time and reaching your target temperature. On the bright side of that con, however, these systems provide a longer-lasting heat, remaining warm well after their thermostat is turned off.

Baseboard Heating Pros

While they are a good fit for many homeowners, it’s important to understand the baseboard heating pros and cons before jumping in. Since electric baseboard heating doesn’t require ductwork like forced-air systems, they can be good options for heating older homes that would otherwise need to be retrofitted. They can also be an option for rooms in a home that need an extra source of heating — for example, in a bedroom overnight.

Pro 1: Quiet Operation

Baseboard heating operates quietly, unlike forced-air systems that periodically blast air, which is a big pro when installing in bedrooms. They won’t negatively affect your sleep schedule or keep you awake with loud noises.

Pro 2: Easy Installation

Baseboard heating offers a unique heating option to homeowners since installation doesn’t require ductwork. So if you live in an older home that doesn’t have any fancy ducts, don’t fret. Baseboard heating can easily be installed without the use of ductwork, making the installation process fairly painless.

Pro 3: Low Installation Cost

Baseboard heating costs less to install than many other types of heating systems since they are so easy to install. So if you’re hoping to get heating in your home on a lower budget, then baseboard heating might be perfect for you.

Pro 4: Good Heating Source

Baseboard heating offers a good source of heating for a single room or a secondary source of heat for a large home space.

Pro 5: Easily Cleaned

Unlike a complicated HVAC system, baseboard heating can easily be cleaned with a vacuum. This is a task most homeowners can tackle on their own without second-guessing it. Additionally, baseboard heating systems typically require little additional maintenance to run optimally.

Pro 6: Longevity

You can expect your baseboard heating to last 20 years or more.

Baseboard Heating Cons

So let’s dive a little deeper into the pros and cons of baseboard heating… specifically the cons.

The biggest con of this form of heating is the lack of efficiency and relatively high cost to run these systems. Some homeowners worry about humidity levels or smells coming from baseboard heating units, but a clean and properly functioning unit shouldn’t cause excessive moisture or dryness in the air, or produce chemical or burning smells. Contact a professional if anything seems out of the ordinary with your system.

Con 1: Costly Operation

When compared to many other forms of residential heating, baseboard heating isn’t always the most cost-effective option in every scenario. If the cost-effectiveness of your heating is your main objective, try checking out some other non-electric heating options before going with electric baseboard heating.

Con 2: Takes Up Space

Baseboard heating isn’t the most attractive thing to have along your baseboards. Not only that, but they do take up space along your baseboards, limiting where you can position furniture and home decor.

Con 3: No Ductwork

In most homes, heating is passed through ductwork. This is not the case with baseboard heating since the heat is produced from the baseboard heating and then blown into the space.

Con 4: Needs Cleaning

Baseboard heating becomes less efficient when it’s not cleaned properly… so be sure you clean yours as it should be cleaned! Keep in mind that any sort of heating system operates at its best when it is properly cleaned, which includes an expensive HVAC unit. Always feel free to contact your trusted heating specialist if you’re unsure how to best clean your unit.

Con 5: Heaters Get Hot

When examining electric baseboard heating pros and cons, or even baseboard heating pros and cons in general, this is a serious con: baseboard heaters create heat and often get hot themselves. You’ll need to keep a clear space around your baseboard heaters to ensure they don’t damage anything nearby them or start a fire. 

Con 6: Most Efficient When Run Constantly

If you like to adjust your thermostat a lot or turn it off and then on again when you need to, then baseboard heaters might not be the most efficient option for you. Baseboard heaters tend to be more expensive to power if you change the temperature around regularly. While this isn’t a huge issue for small changes, it can be an issue for users who like to make a lot of thermostat changes.

pros and cons of baseboard heat warm cat by window

Alternatives Types of Heating Systems

If you have a house with electric baseboard heating and decide you want to upgrade, other options exist. Other potential heat sources include:

  • Furnaces
  • Boilers
  • Heat pumps
  • Solar heating 

Other types of distribution systems besides electric baseboard heating include:

  • Forced air
  • Steam radiant
  • Radiant heating
  • Hot water baseboards

Factors you’ll want to consider when deciding on an upgrade: the life expectancy of the unit, cost to install, cost to operate, whether you’ll need to also install air ducts and heating vents, or make other upgrades to accommodate the new system. Talk to an HVAC professional to figure out what’s the best type of heat for your home.

Get Professional HVAC Service

To service your baseboard or other heating system, contact an HVAC expert at John C. Flood. Our technicians can also install a brand new efficient heating system to keep you warm in the cold months ahead.

The post The Pros and Cons of Baseboard Heat appeared first on John C. Flood.

Sanitation in Gaming: Opening Back Up After COVID-19  

Many states are starting to remove the isolation policies that dictated closures for businesses, as the COVID-19 virus seemingly recesses during the summer. The gaming industry was hit significantly by the business closures, and even today, casino and game rooms remain empty. From the large casinos of Las Vegas, Nevada to off-track betting, race tracks, and small riverboat casinos throughout America, gaming markets have felt the significant impact of the COVID-19 virus on business, and they will need to change their operating measures to get back to normal.

Heightened Sanitation Procedures

As casinos and gaming businesses get ready to open back up for the first time this summer, all will have to deal with the new reality of sanitation measures and procedures mixed in with the gaming atmosphere. In official actions, the terms and conditions that a casino operates under will have to change.

Gambling by nature can have numerous physical exchanges and interactions between screens, buttons, cards, chips, or dice, all of which can pose a threat to spreading the Coronavirus. Joint surfaces are shared between players as they go back and forth between games, and this can pose a significant risk in the post-COVID-19 world.

An establishment’s failure to take seriously COVID-19 and hygiene safety measures can also affect its business performance. Customers now have a heightened sensitivity to the actions of the businesses that they patronize, and they expect a level of sanitation and safety to be maintained. A business that does not have proper health measures in place could lose business or, even worse, be the cause of outbreaks in the future.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairwoman, Sandra Douglass Morgan, stated that the state of Nevada is going to require significant health measures before allowing casino licenses to re-open. This warning from the Gaming Control Board Chairwoman should be a very real sign that business will not continue as usual. The best way for the gaming industry to prove that it is ready to resume business is to demonstrate heightened sanitation procedures built into its gaming operations.

Gambling with Your Health

A 2019 study conducted by Dr. Edward G. Keown, commissioned by the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), determined that the casino environment, consisting of employees and customers, can present a significant risk for exposure to infectious diseases. The study focused on the bacterial diseases present on casino gaming chips.

Casino gaming chips are the currency inside casinos and exchange hands between gamblers and the house continuously without sanitation. Casinos prefer to use the gambling chips because their portability and bright colors entice gamers to play more and spend more in the casino. These chips are a significant source of bacteria and microorganisms which can be easily passed from one person to the next. The National Environmental Health Association study found that used chips had a statistically significant amount of pathogenic contaminants and even higher than normal presences of E. Coli.

Navigating the Current Climate for Casinos

Casinos, riverboats, and gaming halls will all need to update their procedures and policies to reflect the current COVID-19 pandemic. Amidst this time of confusion and isolation, however, novel solutions arise to both spur business and mitigate health exposure. Many casinos have already made the switch to house debit cards that act as virtual gambling chips to carry the balance of the players. These cash cards don’t need to exchange hands frequently like a poker chip, and they can serve the same function.

Some casinos may not have the capital available to make major changes to gameplay like cash cards. So these businesses will need to focus on sanitation practices to mitigate viral spread. The most common sanitation actions practiced by other businesses are wiping down surfaces, service personnel wear masks and gloves, and maintaining social distancing between guests. Likely gone are the days of a packed casino table following a hot streak of luck. Casinos will need to enforce social distancing practices on the gambling floor and will need to train individuals responsible for sanitizing down surfaces between players.

The challenge is what sanitizers to use and when. Products for sanitation and disinfection generally come in two categories. Water-based and alcohol-based. Both can be fantastic solutions for large scale sanitation and disinfection, however, when sanitation time is of the essence, and sensitive electronics are nearby (like slots, or touchscreen gaming) alcohol-based sanitizer wins the hand every time.

Goodway offers simple and effective solutions for casinos and gaming businesses to maintain new health standards and practices in their facilities. Goodway’s alcohol-based BioSpray® Sanitation System is an industrial and commercial cleaning product that is an excellent tool for maintenance and cleaning plans. The portable BioSpray system is easily wheeled around gaming floors and applies alcohol-based sanitizing, disinfecting, and sterilizing solutions that can reach multiple areas at once dry quickly and are safe on sensitive electronics.

Next Steps:

Learn more about BioSpray®.

Learn more about BioSpray® D2 Sanitizer.

Contact a Goodway Representative to help find your best solution.

This post appeared first on Goodway.com

How to Fix Recessed Lights That Won’t Stay Up

Recessed lighting is a popular choice among homeowners because this method provides ample light while blending in with the ceiling. It is an unobtrusive lighting option that unifies large rooms and is relatively inexpensive.

Despite its appeal, many people do not know how to fix recessed lights that won’t stay up, despite how common sagging recessed lighting is for electricians. Fixing recessed lighting can depend on what trim option your recessed lights are fitted with and how the recessed lighting was installed. Recessed lights use a non-adjustable or adjustable trim depending on the purpose of the fixture. The first step to fixing recessed lighting is determining what type of trim you have.

Recessed Lighting Trim Types

Recessed lighting trims are used to conceal the lamp or housing behind them, direct and shape the beam of light, and add an aesthetic appeal to an environment. Understanding what type of trim you have is the key to fixing recessed lighting or determining when you need a professional electrician

Non-Adjustable Trims

  • Baffled Trim: Inside surface is ribbed and designed to absorb and trap excess light. Minimizes glare, softens bright light, and diffuses light to a broad area of the room.
  • Reflectors: Sits recessed into the trim with a highly polished smooth inside surface that provides a higher light output for tasks like reading, cooking, or working. Maximizes beam spread produced by the light.
  • Open Trim: Simple ring flush around the lamp that exposes as much light as possible to the environment.
  • Lensed Trim: Plastic or glass lens covers the lamp designed to protect the light bulb or fixture from moisture. Most commonly used for bathrooms, showers, closets, and areas exposed to water.
  • Pinhole Trim: Concentrates light into a single cascading beam. The precision is optimal for highlighting and drawing attention to displays located directly below the downlight.
  • Wall Wash Trim: Directs light onto the wall and minimizes texture on the surface to gloss over imperfections. Ideal for highlighting artwork on one specific wall.

Adjustable Trims

  • Eyeball Trim: With a 30-degree tilt range and 360-degree rotation, it has the widest range of movement and flexibility out of the adjustable trim options. Will allow you to easily direct light to focus on art or a bookcase.
  • Gimbal Trim: Lamp is not concealed and sits flush to the ceiling with a 35-degree tilt and 180-degree rotation. The lamp does not protrude from the ceiling like the eyeball trim, so when the lamp is tilted at full range the light beam may be cut off.
  • Retractable Trim: Starts flush to the ceiling and extends below the ceiling to 70-degrees. Ideal for directing light onto walls if the ceiling is sloped.
  • Slot Apertures: Completely conceals the lamp with a flat trim, so only a light beam can be seen and provides a 35-degree tilt and 180-degree rotation. This trim is meant to be the most discreet.

Supplies to Fix Recessed Lights

Sagging recessed lighting obviously dampens the functionality and visual appeal in your home, but don’t despair: fixing recessed lighting isn’t as hard as you might think, and a quick recessed lighting repair can save you a world of annoyance.

When they work as they should, recessed lights are a neat, flush, out-of-the-way lighting option for homes, so if you’re wondering how to fix your recessed lighting and keep them from sagging all on your own, then get ready for a DIY. Here’s a list of supplies you’ll need for a DIY recessed lighting repair:

  • Ladder
  • Voltage tester
  • New Spring Clips
  • Screwdriver
  • Drop cloth
  • A fresh lightbulb

If you have all the necessary supplies, then you’re ready to fix your recessed lighting!

How to Fix Recessed Lighting

1.) Turn the power off. 

Make sure that before you start fixing recessed lighting, you switch off the breaker to the room you’ll be working in to avoid shock. Switching off the power with the wall switch isn’t sufficient because current can still flow through.

2.) Prepare your work area and tools.

Set up your workspace underneath the fixture in question. Lay down a drop cloth and set up a ladder so you can access the recessed lighting fixture.

3.) Unscrew the lightbulb.

After removing the lightbulb, remove the trim and look inside the fixture for small springs. Depending on the style of the trim, you should find two to four springs that are pressed into the ceiling to secure the light in place.

4.) Follow the steps for your trim style: 

  • Non-Adjustable Trims
    • Remove the spring clips from the trim. The spring clips connect the trim to the metal socket plate inside the fixture or to any opening cut into the recessed fixture housing. Unhook the springs from the socket plate or fixture housing, which will release the rim from the fixture and ceiling.
    • Replace old spring clips. Hook the new recessed lighting spring clips into the small openings along the edge of the trim.
    • Position the trim against the ceiling and recessed fixture. Grab the springs with your fingers and hook them onto the socket plate or any opening cut into the fixture wall. Lock the non-adjustable trim into place.
  • Adjustable Trims
    • Remove the torsion springs. Use your fingers to press the two arms of the torsion springs together. Unhook the torsion springs from the spring receivers built into the wall of the recessed fixture. The spring receivers look like two small hooks facing each other on each side of the fixture.
    • Increase the spring tension.In order to fix recessed lighting, set the trim down with the torsion springs facing up. Push down on both sides of the torsion springs to widen the V-shape.
    • Return the recessed lighting to the ceiling. Squeeze the two sides of the torsion springs together and place the springs into the spring receivers. Hold the trim against the ceiling and lock it in place. If the trim still won’t stay up, repeat the process until the fixture is flush to the ceiling.

5.) Replace the lightbulb. 

Avoid “overlamping” by sticking to the correct wattage. Once you have screwed in the light bulb, switch on the breaker to return power to the recessed lighting.

Hire an Electrician to Fix Sagging Recessed Lighting

Sagging recessed lighting can be an eyesore, but it’s an easy fix! However, not all electrical work can be DIY. If you’re experiencing repeated issues, it’s important to work with a professional Alexandria electrician. Call John C. Flood to schedule your appointment at (703) 440-7473 in Virginia, (202) 930-9196 in D.C., or (301) 804-6982 in Maryland. You can also schedule a recessed lighting repair or another electrical service online now.

The post How to Fix Recessed Lights That Won’t Stay Up appeared first on John C. Flood.

10 Ways to Improve Air Flow in Your Stuffy Office

improve air flow

Improve air flow to improve comfort & indoor air quality

Do you sometimes look for an excuse to escape from your office or workplace just because you feel like you can’t breathe in there? You may have noticed others doing the same thing: going outside for a cigarette even if they don’t smoke, volunteering to make a Starbucks run, taking long lunches and skipping out early.

It doesn’t take long for stuffy air in your workplace to sabotage your business by seriously reducing productivity.

Also, experts say that properly designed air flow and ventilation can help to prevent transmission of airborne contaminants such as coronavirus.

Indoor air quality problems often result from air flow problems with your air conditioning system. Read on for some simple tips that will improve air flow, air quality, and comfort in your space, and get people back to business.

Improve air flow: it’s essential for air quality and comfort

Proper air flow is one of the most critical things your air conditioner needs to do its job properly. Even if the system is properly removing heat from the air that flows through the unit, it doesn’t help your comfort if the conditioned air doesn’t make it to the space that needs cooling.

Also, when conditioned air is blown into a room, and equal amount needs to be removed and returned back to the air conditioner to preserve air balance. When that doesn’t happen, you get odor problems, weird noises and doors slamming by themselves as well as stuffy, stagnant air.

Here’s the bottom line: improve air flow to improve comfort levels and your office productivity.

10 Ways to Improve Air Flow Problems in Your Air Conditioning System

Even before you call in an air conditioning professional, here are a few simple steps you can take yourself to improve air flow in your office:

1. Check for ventilation blockages

Especially if your office has hot and cold spots and inconsistent temperatures, employees are likely dealing with their discomfort by closing or blocking air conditioning registers and vents. These actions change the way air flows through the system and actually compounds the problem. As a first step to improve air flow, make sure all vents and registers are open and not blocked by furniture.

2. Remove debris around outdoor unit

Your air conditioner’s condensing unit, which is probably located either outside or in a ventilated equipment room, needs unobstructed air flow to release heat and prevent overheating. If your unit it outside, improve air flow by making sure to remove any leaves or debris that may have accumulated around the unit.

3. Change filters regularly

Your air conditioner has filters that removes dust and debris from the air and prevents it from entering the air conditioner and damaging its parts. When a filter gets clogged, it keeps air from entering the system as well. Not only does that cause air flow problems and stuffy air, but it makes the system work harder to cool your space and can lead to more frequent breakdowns.

To improve air flow, make sure you change your filters as per your equipment manufacturer’s instructions, which can be as often as once a month depending on your system usage.

4. Check condition of ducts

If your air conditioning ducts are accessible, you can have a maintenance person check to see if they are clogged with dust or have holes or cracks where conditioned air is escaping. If they are located inside walls or crawl spaces, you may have to call in an HVAC professional to inspect them and then clean or make repairs where needed.

If none of these issues prove to be the culprit, your system probably has maintenance issues and requires the expertise of an HVAC professional to improve air flow. This is very likely if you have been neglecting preventative maintenance. In a regularly scheduled service visit, all of the items listed below would be checked and any issues corrected, so the air flow problem would not happen in the first place.

Refrigeration Preventative Maintenance Contracts

5. Have coils cleaned

Your unit’s condenser coil, part of the outdoor unit, gets rid of the heat removed from the air by expelling it outside the building. The condenser coil won’t work well when it gets covered with a layer of dirt and grime. This is a very common problem in NYC with all the soot and pollution in the air.

When it happens, heat transfer is impeded, and your unit has to work harder to do its job, leading to air flow issues, increased wear on the parts and even system failure.

Learn more about coil cleaning from our helpful reference Guide to Air Conditioner Coil Cleaning: Why, How, and How Often.

6. Check for fan problems

Your air conditioner has blower motors and fans that help to move conditioned air through the ducts and into the rooms that need cooling. If the fan motor is sluggish or the fan itself is covered with grime and turning slower than needed, the system can’t move air effectively. It’s a simple matter to clean the fan and improve air flow.

7. Check refrigerant levels

If your office air is too warm as well as stagnant, your system might have a slow refrigerant leak, which means it loses cooling capacity over time. Your HVAC technician can check the levels and repair any leaks that are found.

8. Check for control issues

You may have faulty thermostats (or batteries that need changing) or building management system may need tweaking to improve air flow.

9. Check sizing of unit

If you inherited your air conditioning unit from a previous tenant, or it was selected and installed by a less-than-qualified contractor, you may have a unit that’s oversized for your space.

It’s a more common problem than you think, left over from the days when “bigger is better” was the rule of thumb for HVAC sizing. It turns out that oversized units are inefficient and don’t provide consistent comfort. An oversized unit may cycle on and off continuously, never running long enough to remove humidity from the air and making it feel stuffy and uncomfortable.

Related article: New York HVAC Systems: 8 Reasons Bigger Is Not Always Better.

10. Improve HVAC design to improve air flow

Have you renovated or changed the layout or usage of your space without updating your HVAC system? Your ductwork is probably no longer properly designed to move conditioned air to where it’s needed. Some simple ductwork changes may improve air flow and solve your stagnant office air problems.

Related article: Why You Need HVAC Design for Your Air Conditioning Install.

Want to learn more about how to improve air flow and solve air conditioning problems? See the following related articles:

Crippling Air Conditioning Problems Caused by Poor Air Flow

HVAC Troubleshooting: Surprising Symptoms of HVAC Problems

SFGATE’s How to Improve Air Flow Volume

The post 10 Ways to Improve Air Flow in Your Stuffy Office appeared first on Arista.

A/C and Heating System Components Guide

A/C and Heating System Components Guide

Most people don’t know very much about how their air conditioning and heating systems work. That’s part of the reason some HVAC companies have a reputation for overcharging and recommending unnecessary services. We always recommend that our customers learn some of the basics about their heater and air conditioner. This will help you diagnose problems more quickly, take part in your own AC maintenance, and avoid getting overcharged by any HVAC contractors who don’t have your best interests at heart.

An efficient HVAC system is absolutely critical here in the Phoenix area, especially when summer temperatures start to climb over 100°F. Learn more about the different system components, how they work, and what you can do to keep up with your AC maintenance. Once you understand the critical components on the following list, you’ll be able to prevent expensive repairs, maximize efficiency to reduce utility bills and make informed decisions about your Phoenix HVAC services.

 

Thermostat

The thermostat is the component most people understand the best, which makes it an accessible place to start your understanding of the HVAC unit. As you probably know, the thermostat has an input where you can set your desired temperature, and it will communicate with the rest of the heating and air conditioning components to get your house to that temperature. So, exactly how does the thermostat work?

Your thermostat has at least one temperature sensor that will measure the current temperature in your home. Some modern thermostats even have additional sensors you can place around the home to get a more comprehensive reading. The best places for these sensors include rooms where you spend a lot of time, and they should be away from windows, walls, drafts, and direct sunlight. 

If your heating and air conditioning system has different zones, you can save money on utility bills by setting each area of your home to a temperature that’s appropriate for that area. For example, you can avoid treating rooms where no one ever goes. Many people also like to turn off the system for all rooms except for occupied bedrooms at night. If you have a smart thermostat, you can set a schedule or control it remotely to save money while you’re out of the home.

The sensors and the thermostat controls send signals to your HVAC unit via wires, which makes the thermostat your control center. When the temperature becomes too hot or too cold according to your setting, the thermostat will sense that. It sends a signal to engage your heating or cooling until the temperature in your home gets back to the appropriate level.

 

Furnace and Indoor Air Handler Vs. Outdoor Unit

The furnace and indoor air handler are the parts of your HVAC system that are inside your home. They’re typically large and require a lot of space. Yours are probably in the basement, attic, or closet that was designed to hold them. They’re connected to electricity, gas, or another energy source like your solar panels. 

 

Condensing Unit

This is the HVAC component that’s installed on the outside of your home, where it releases heat into the outside air. The condensing unit is connected to the evaporator coil (more on the evaporator coil shortly). The condenser coil or compressor is filled with refrigerant, which it condenses from a gas to a liquid. As this the refrigerant condenses, it undergoes a heat exchange that cools it off. The fan in your outdoor unit blows air over the compressor to create a wind-chill effect that helps the refrigerant cool down even more quickly. 

Once the refrigerant has been cooled down enough to enter a liquid state, a metal tube takes it into your home to the evaporator coil. To keep this process fast and efficient, it’s important for the condensing unit to be clean and clear. With the unit outside, it’s important to make sure it doesn’t get coated with dust or dirt. Make sure there’s empty space around your outdoor unit, and rinse it off if it gets dirty or covered with yard waste. If your condensing unit is in the shade, it will naturally be a little bit cooler and therefore more efficient.

 

Refrigerant Lines

The metal tubes that carry cooled refrigerant from the condensing unit to the evaporator coil are called refrigerant lines. Once the evaporator coil uses the refrigerant, it’s transferred back to the condensing unit in its warm, gaseous form. These tubes are made out of durable metal like aluminum or copper. It’s important for the refrigerant lines to remain in good shape because holes or other damage can result in refrigerant leaks. If you feel like you always need more refrigerant in your system, it could be because there’s a refrigerant line leak.

 

Evaporator Coil

The simplest way to understand the evaporator coil is that it does essentially the same thing as the heat exchanger but in reverse. It’s located in the indoor air handler, which is the big part of your HVAC unit inside the home. Refrigerant lines deliver refrigerant to nozzles or valves inside the indoor air handler, and the refrigerant gets dispersed so it can evaporate from a liquid to a gas as quickly as possible. The heat exchange from this evaporation process absorbs heat from your home, lowering the temperature.

While this is happening, your HVAC system blows warm air from the home over the evaporator coil, which cools the air down. It also causes condensation when the air is cooled so quickly, pulling humidity out of your home to make it feel cooler and more comfortable. Once the air is cooled and dried, it’s ready to go back into your home again. The refrigerant eventually heats up, then it gets sent back to your condensing unit to cool down again.

HVAC technicians always check the evaporator coil during routine AC maintenance because the condensation can cause a buildup of excessive moisture. If the moisture isn’t disposed of correctly, it can gather on your coils and lead them to collect dust and dirt more quickly. Dirty evaporator coils can’t work as efficiently, and they’re also more likely to break down. Protect your equipment and air quality by making sure there is no mold, dirt, or ice on the evaporator coil.

 

Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger is part of your furnace. It absorbs heat from the combustion in the furnace and uses it to warm the air before your HVAC system carries the warm air through your home. Even electrical furnaces have heat exchangers– those just use electricity-generated heat instead of heat from combustion. Heat exchangers are designed to take in cool air and heat it quickly, and they’re made of temperature-resistant metal to make sure the equipment isn’t damaged in the process.

It’s important to have this component inspected regularly because some heat exchanger problems can be dangerous. A leak could expose you and your housemates to carbon monoxide, which is poisonous. If you have a gas furnace, we recommend having carbon monoxide detectors installed. Carbon monoxide has no color or scent, so people need sensors if they want to know about leaks before they start experiencing symptoms. Between sensors and yearly HVAC inspections, you can have greater peace of mind about your heat exchanger.

 

Combustion Chamber

The combustion chamber is also known as the burner. This is where furnaces combine air and gas to start the heating cycle. Once there’s some oxygen and other combustible gas in the combustion chamber, it can be ignited with a pilot light or glow stick. The fire starts, then more gas and air are added to help the fire get hotter. The most efficient furnaces even have second combustion chambers. The second combustion chamber will capture the carbon monoxide and unburned fuel from the first combustion chamber then light it again to maximize energy efficiency.

Your furnace won’t be able to start a fire in the combustion chamber if the pilot light has gone out. You or an HVAC professional will have to carefully relight the pilot by following the instructions for your specific HVAC unit. Faulty pilot lights can also release carbon monoxide, which is dangerous. This is part of the reason most modern furnaces use glow sticks, also known as electronic ignition systems. If your furnace has an electronic ignition system, you’ll never have to worry about relighting the pilot.

 

Blower Motor

The blower motor is what pushes treated air throughout your home after it’s reached the desired temperature. The blower motor provides power for a fan, and that fan forces air out of the HVAC unit and into your ductwork. The blower motor and the fan normally keep going for a little bit even after your system has stopped heating or cooling air to make sure that all of the treated air has had time to go through the ducts and get into your rooms. Once that happens, the motor shuts off until it’s time to push more treated air throughout the home. Some blower motors only have one speed, so they’re either on or off. Newer HVAC systems are more likely to have variable speed blower motors, which can run at different speeds depending on your needs and preferences. Variable-speed blower motors give you greater control over your heating and cooling, and some of these components also include technology to help identify problems in the HVAC system. Since variable-speed blower motors can operate at lower speeds, they can run more continuously instead of stopping and starting while always hitting top speed. This makes the system less noisy, saves energy, and keeps the home’s humidity more consistent.

 

Vents

The vents are some of the most recognizable components of your HVAC system– you probably already know where all of them are in your home. This is where the treated air can enter your home. Some vents can be manually adjusted to direct air to where you want it. We normally recommend that people include their HVAC vents during their regular cleaning and dusting around the house. If your vents get too dirty, they’ll eventually start to reduce air circulation, increasing the strain on your equipment, and rising energy bills in the process. Dirty vents also decrease the air quality in your home since they release dust, pollen, and allergens into the air that’s coming out.

 

Ductwork

The ductwork in your home is a series of passages for air to go through as it makes its way from the HVAC unit to your vents and into your rooms. The ducts might be made out of steel, plastic, fiberglass, or even other materials like fabric. For the most part, though, ductwork is made out of aluminum. It’s important to have your air ducts cleaned and inspected for a few different reasons:

  • Leaks and blockages can prevent good air circulation and make your system inefficient.
  • Dirty ductwork reduces the air quality in your home by introducing dust, bacteria, and other contaminants into your rooms along with the air. This is especially important for people who have asthma, allergies, or other breathing problems.
  • Damaged or poorly insulated air ducts allow the temperature of your air to change b[efore that air ever makes it out of your vents.

 

HVAC Services in the Phoenix and surrounding areas.

At Howard Air, we want our customers to understand what we’re doing when we service their HVAC unit. Our technicians are knowledgeable and trustworthy, so we have nothing to hide in our process. When you know a little bit more about your heating and air conditioning, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions about your AC maintenance. We’ll always give you an honest professional opinion about all of your options, and our staff will walk you through every step of your HVAC services. Contact us today for a fast response. We’ll work with you to see how we can save you money and make your home as comfortable as possible.

This post appeared first on Howardair.com

Ways to Lower Your Air Conditioning Costs This Summer

Ways to Lower Your Air Conditioning Costs This Summer

Keeping your home cool and comfortable is a little bit harder here in Arizona than it is in most other parts of the world. As summer temperatures regularly rise over 100°F, some people feel like they’re choosing the lesser of two evils between a hot home and expensive utility bills. Running your air conditioner on full blast all day will dramatically increase the cost of your energy bills, and it’s also hard on the equipment. Save yourself some money and increase the lifespan of your unit by following these tips to reduce your AC costs.

 

Master Your AC Settings

Experiment with your air conditioner settings to find the highest temperature that’s still comfortable for you and your family. Even raising the thermostat by a few degrees during the summer can have a noticeable effect on your next energy bill. Some people have noticed that gradually raising the temperature in their homes helps them adjust without ever feeling uncomfortably hot.

If you’re planning to be out of the house for several hours (when you go to work or somewhere else), that might be a good time to raise the temperature a little bit and give your AC a break. If you take a long summer vacation, you can definitely save some money by turning your system off as you leave town. Do keep in mind that turning your AC to an especially cold setting won’t cool the house any faster when you get home. Just put it at the normal temperature, and your home should get comfortable quickly as long as the system is running efficiently. 

Adjusting your thermostat to meet your needs will be even easier if you have a smart thermostat. The same is true if you have zoned heating and cooling. For example, you can program your AC to let the house heat up while you’re at work, then get it cool again before you come home. The zoned heating and cooling allows you to turn off the AC at night in all parts of the house except for occupied bedrooms.

 

Use a Fan

Ceiling fans and other fans can make a room feel several degrees cooler by generating a little bit of wind chill. If your home doesn’t have fans in the rooms, you can add inexpensive options to the places you spend the most time. For example, you can put a fan by your bed, near your favorite seat, and next to your desk. Get fans you plan on keeping for years, and there is a good chance they’ll eventually pay for themselves by reducing your utility bills. 

Just remember that fans don’t actually make rooms any cooler– they only make people more comfortable by generating wind. There’s absolutely no point in running a fan when no one is in the room, so only turn them on when you need them. Running fans in an empty room will waste energy and raise your utility bills, which defeats the purpose of using them.

 

Block the Sun

Natural light is great, but so is saving money on your energy bills. You can help keep your house cool just by blocking out some of the sunlight, and there are multiple ways to do this. If you’re already planning a landscaping project, consider adding trees that will shade your home. Curtains, blinds, and shades can also prevent a lot of heat gain. 

If you can’t stand blocking your windows because you love being able to see your side, you might want to add window tint to your home. This is more expensive than closing the blinds, but adding window tint will offer long-term savings and increase the value of your home. It’s worth the investment for people who want to lower their utility bills without feeling shut off from the outside world.

Professional AC maintenance will save you money on your utility bills by maximizing the efficiency of your unit. An HVAC contractor will make sure everything is working properly and make adjustments as needed. Without the right experience and equipment, most people can’t diagnose problems like evaporator coil issues, low refrigerant levels, and blocked condenser coils until they become severe. Catching things early will reduce the strain on your system and save you money on your energy bills.

As an added bonus, you’ll save money in the long run by catching and correcting problems quickly. A simple AC tune-up now could prevent costly repairs down the road. Routine AC maintenance is extremely affordable compared to a new HVAC unit, and it will give you peace of mind during the hottest days of the year.

 

Upgrade Your Windows

Upgrading the windows in your home is more of a long-term investment, but most people notice the difference in their utility bills almost immediately. If your windows are old, damaged, or drafty, they’re making your home lose its temperature a lot faster than it should. New windows are designed to be especially efficient, so they can do a good job keeping the heat out and keeping the cool air in your home. If you’ve been putting off buying new windows for a few years, now might be a good time to make the investment and start reducing your air conditioning costs.

 

Replace AC Filters

If you get regular AC tune-ups, there’s a good chance your HVAC contractors are replacing the filters when they come out. Even so, it’s a good idea to check on this yourself from time to time. Almost everyone can easily clean or replace their air conditioner filters by themselves, and it’s recommended to do this at least every few months. 

People with hairy pets, kids, allergies, or respiratory problems may want to change their filters as frequently as every month. Dirty filters can hurt the air quality in your home and also prevent airflow. The reduction of circulation will make your system less efficient, so it will have to work harder (and use more energy) to cool your home.

 

Know When It’s Time to Replace Your AC

Buying a new HVAC system isn’t most people’s idea of saving money. There’s some upfront cost involved, but a high-efficiency air conditioner will help pay for itself. If your old unit is burning a lot of energy, you can lower your utility bills by upgrading now. Ask a trustworthy air conditioning professional if your AC can be fixed or if it’s time for a new one.

AC Maintenance Available in Phoenix from Howard Air Conditioning

At Howard Air Conditioning, we serve the Valley of the Sun from our location in Phoenix. We’ll come to your home in Glendale, Scottsdale, Tempe, or any of the surrounding areas. Our experienced HVAC professionals will always give you an honest and informed opinion about what you can do to save money both now and in the long run. If that means an inexpensive AC tune-up, we’ll be happy to maximize the efficiency of your unit for you. When it’s time to upgrade to a more efficient air conditioner, we can handle that, too. Contact us today, and let’s see how we can lower your air conditioning costs this summer.

This post appeared first on Howardair.com

How Insulation Helps You Keep Cool

insulation-in-attic-loftWhen the temperature gets to be unbearable most of us are going to be holed up at home trying to stay comfortable and dry. As long as your air conditioner is working well, your home should be able to provide a comfortable environment during those swelteringly hot days, right? Not necessarily. Yes, your air conditioner is going to be a main component to your comfort but there are other factors, like your Miami attic insulation, that will affect your home environment too.

We know that may sound strange but it is true. Your attic insulation plays a big role in keeping your home comfortable all year long actually. How? By reducing heat exchange in and out of the house. Insulation helps with your air quality too! It helps with a lot of things to be honest. Let’s take a quick look at why your insulation is so important to your comfort this summer and beyond.

How Your Attic Insulation Helps

The insulation in your home is going to help you stay comfortable in a few different ways which we have listed here:

Attic insulation helps keep cool air in and hot air out

When you have good attic insulation it is going to help hold the cool air that your air conditioner produces in your home. This means that it will keep your home cooler for a longer amount of time with a little less effort. Even better, insulation will keep the hot air and humidity out.

Attic insulation helps boost the quality of the air in your home

Insulation helps to keep the indoor air quality in your home a lot more comfortable than it would be otherwise. This is because insulation helps to protect your home from the entry of dust, debris, and other allergens, and helps prevent unwanted moisture from entering the house as well. With cleaner, less humid air, the environment inside your home is going to feel a lot more pleasant than it would otherwise.

Attic insulation helps your AC operate more efficiently

Remember how we talked about the reduction in heat exchange thanks to your AC system? Because your attic insulation is going to keep the cool air in and the hot air out of your home, it means that it is going to make your unit’s job a lot easier. It does this by extending the amount of time a cooling cycle keeps your home effectively cool. It also helps by keeping the air drier which makes it easier to cool down. Altogether this means that your energy efficiency is going to improve too.

Our Insulation Services Help You Too

If you need to install insulation in an older home that doesn’t have any, repair the worn insulation in your home, or you want to give your insulation an extra boost, we can help. Our insulation services are performed by professionals who know how important this part of your home is to your comfort. When you need help keeping your home cool during summer, you can rely on us to help you out.

Contact Air On Demand today to schedule an appointment.

This post appeared first on AironDemand.com

AC Noises: How to Fix Grinding & Whistling

It goes without saying that your AC unit is going to make some noise as it runs. Any fully operational machinery does. However, there are some types of noises you don’t want to hear from your air conditioner, some of which are a clear indicator that a problem has occurred within your unit.

If you hear your air conditioner making a high-pitched whistle noise or a grinding sound, here’s how you fix it.

What Does It Mean When Your Air Conditioner Whistles?

While an air conditioner making a high-pitched whistle could be completely benign, that whistling or hissing sound could also be a sign of a few different maintenance issues. If the whistle is persistent, consider the following potential issues and how to solve them.

Dirty Air Filter

If you hear a whistling sound coming through your air vents, one of the easiest steps is to replace your current air filter with a new, clean one. As air filters fill up with contaminants and unwanted particles from the air, they restrict airflow and could cause a whistling sound.

Blocked Vents

An air conditioner making a high-pitched whistle sound could be due to blocked air vents. Double-check yours to be sure they’re all open and allowing air to flow freely.

A Refrigerant Leak

A refrigerant leak can occur either in your AC unit’s internal valve or the refrigerant lines. This often causes your air conditioner to make a high-pitched whistle, hissing, or bubbling sound. This issue should be investigated immediately and addressed as soon as possible since a leaky internal valve or damaged refrigerant lines worsen the longer they’re left unchecked. Be sure to turn your air conditioner off when inspecting for a leak. 

For your AC unit to run properly, the refrigerant levels must be precise so to fix this issue, you’ll need a licensed professional HVAC technician. Find a trustworthy HVAC technician to correct the refrigerant levels and fix a refrigerant leak in your unit, and it’ll be up and running before you know it.

High Air Pressure in the Compressor

Another reason your air conditioner is making a high-pitched whistle could be due to the pressure inside your air compressor. If the pressure is too high, whistling or hissing sounds can intensify to a high-pitched screaming sound. Hissing, whistling, or shrieking coming from your compressor is a sign the air pressure is too high.

To resolve this issue, turn off your air conditioner the moment you realize the sounds are coming from your compressor. Leaving it on could damage your unit further. Leave your AC unit off until you can have a technician come to investigate. 

What Causes Your Ac Compressor To Make A Grinding Noise?

Regardless of what kind of mechanical object it is, a metal-against-metal grinding noise is never a promising sound. This is especially true for an AC unit. If you hear your AC compressor making a grinding noise, here’s what could be going on.

Compressor Issues

This is the most common cause of grinding noises in an AC unit. An AC compressor can make a grinding noise when it’s turned off, or while it runs.

The compressor is a vital component to your AC unit, and the grinding noise it makes is from pistons that compress refrigerant gas. This grinding typically only happens when the compressor is old and worn down, meaning it needs to be replaced when the grinding begins (which often means your whole air conditioning unit needs to be replaced since the compressor is such an integral part).

If your AC compressor makes a grinding noise when off or while your AC unit is running, stop running it immediately and schedule an appointment with your HVAC technician to get the issue checked.

Damaged Belts

To cool your home, your air conditioner uses a blower fan to move air. The motor fan has a belt to help it turn. If this belt gets damaged or is loosened in any way, it rubs against other parts of your air conditioner, resulting in a grinding noise. If left unresolved, a damaged or loose motor belt can cause more issues for other portions of your air conditioner. Replacing it as soon as possible is best for the health of your unit.

Lack of Lubrication

Your AC unit is a machine with a motor, and like most motors, it requires the right amount of lubrication to run optimally. Many older AC units (and some newer ones that are well used) need more lubrication or they’ll begin grinding. To help your AC unit run smoothly and quietly, and to help protect it from damage, have an HVAC specialist ensure the motor is properly lubricated.

Don’t Wait for the Noises to Go Away – Fix Them!

Since unresolved AC maintenance issues tend to cause more damage the longer they’re left unattended, never let unusual noises go unchecked. Resolve them as soon as possible. Are you experiencing weird noises coming from your AC? If your AC compressor makes grinding noises when it’s turned off, call (703) 752-1266 or contact the John C. Flood certified HVAC technicians online now.

The post AC Noises: How to Fix Grinding & Whistling appeared first on John C. Flood.

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